[-empyre-] Writing and viewing and living our pain

Deena Larsen deenalarsen at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 16 05:52:53 EST 2012

I'd like to respond to a couple of points so far:
We have a long standing convention of using art to express the otherwise ineffable truths of being-emotions, pain, daily living, spirituality--it is the way to communicate what our souls en(s)(d)ure. 
The act of writing/creating, whether it be performative or private --the elegy or the journal-- can in and of itself be an anodyne. 
Moreover, the act of reading /being an audience can be a catharsis.  There are a few scenes in literature that I go back to over and over again when I want to *feel* and *release* and *be* and *overcome--or at least cope with* my pain--when I want to help be healed of my depression and agonizing grief. (okokok I admit it, I have a few secret vices.  When I am really upset and depressed, I'll declaim the entire Wasteland, but when I just want a good cry, I open up the Little Princess to the scene where Sarah finds her father has died. There now, you know all/some of my secrets.)
So to answer Alan, we write/create because in reliving the agony, we can channel it and find a way to survive.
To echo the material presented on convention, it is almost entering a paradox, but we do have these conventions stemming back thousands of years (or at least to the greek plays, to chinese literature, to...) that creating in pain relieaves pain, and viewing pain helps to understand it, giving us a perspective we need to deal with our own emotions.  So I am not sure we really are breaking conventions when we show the extremity of our pain.
Alan wrote:
On empyre, I wonder and want to ask - not about 
avatars, but a more basic question - how do we live with ourselves? and 
especially for those of us who have experience trauma or war or torture (I 
fit in the first category only, as if these were categories), how do we 
live with ourselves? For if embroiling our work in these issues of pain 
and annihilation solves nothing but brings mourning and despair, anguish, 
constantly to the foreground, how can we possibly escape? I think these 
questions are at the heart of the human project, such as it is, and would 
like to hear from others here, if possible.

?Not sure who wrote>>The problem here is that breaking conventions can then become the aim of the art/work, or thus become equally conventional.  
That is to show the extremity of our pain feeling thought etc, we break convention and then risk becoming as tied in the convention of breaking conventions as we were previously tied in the conventions we are breaking; or we take the risk becoming incomprehensible or repetative, because there are no conventions to interpret us by.

Deena Larsen

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